Mission: Opening Doors to Psychoanalysis
At BGSP, we use our understanding of unconscious dynamics to help solve problems of emotional suffering and destructive action. In this way, we help individuals, groups, and communities free their creative energy to live satisfying lives in cooperation with others.
As a graduate school, we teach students to actualize this personally and professionally by training clinical mental health counselors, interdisciplinary scholars, and psychoanalysts. Contributing through our Therapy Center, School Outreach Program, and work in the community, our students graduate with confidence in their abilities to work skillfully with a wide range of patients in a variety of settings.
BGSP was founded over 45 years ago in order to expand the reach of psychoanalytic understanding and intervention, which the School integrates into all of its graduate programs and work in the community. At the time, "psychoanalysis" was generally seen in this country as an elite psychotherapy, to be limited to neurotic patients who could afford frequent therapy sessions with primarily white, males who were typically medical doctors trained as analysts.
The founders of BGSP broke these molds by emphasizing the principles of “modern psychoanalysis,” a body of theory and technique designed to facilitate resolution of people’s deep resistances to changing their repetitive, destructive patterns of behavior. Unlike their contemporaries at the time, modern psychoanalysts felt that psychoanalytic interventions could be used to resolve such resistances regardless of a patient’s level of pathology. [i] So, modern psychoanalytic theory and technique allowed a wider range of patients in a wider range of settings to be treated psychoanalytically.
Furthermore, BGSP’s early leaders recognized how useful psychoanalytic understanding can be in areas outside of the clinical office. By recognizing and working with symbolic communication, resistance, repetition, transference, and countertransference, people can facilitate progressive communication and change any place where destructive patterns of behavior interfere with progress. For instance, BGSP alumni work psychodynamically as community-based counselors, executive coaches, classroom teachers, program managers, and team leaders in agencies and businesses.
In keeping with their emphasis on the resolution of resistance, BGSP’s founders also believed that resolution of a student’s resistances to understanding unconscious material is the chief requirement for learning to work psychodynamically, regardless of prior field of study. Any graduate student who is motivated and capable of learning to understand unconscious factors in human motivation and behavior can learn to work with people at a deeper level.
Nearly 50 years after its founding, BGSP opens its doors to qualified students from all corners of the world to learn powerful approaches for understanding psychodynamics and effecting change in diverse settings, clinical and otherwise.
[i] See Spotnitz, H. (1985). Modern Psychoanalysis of the Schizophrenic Patient: Theory of the Technique. New York, New York: Human Sciences Press; Spotnitz, H. (1976). Psychotherapy of Preoedipal Conditions: Schizophrenia and Severe Character Disorders. New York, New York: J. Aronson; and Spotnitz, H. and Meadow, P.M. (1995). Treatment of the Narcissistic Neuroses. New York, New York: J. Aronson.